The potential link between high blood pressure and hearing loss

A nurse reading a man's blood pressure

The potential link between high blood pressure and hearing loss

Hearing loss and high blood pressure impact millions of people around the world, and these two conditions may have a connection.

Hypertension is a serious health challenge that become chronic and requires daily medication and dietary or lifestyle changes to manage. It can cause hearing loss, according to multiple studies on the subject. And, it could also put you at greater risk of hearing impairment.

Studies connecting hypertension with hearing loss
In a 2013 study of 274 men and women ages 45 to 64, researchers found a strong relationship between high blood pressure and age-related hearing loss. Hypertensive patients had a higher threshold below which they couldn't hear, and the study results suggested that hypertension could be damaging inner-ear blood vessels.

A subsequent study in 2015 measured hearing loss of factory workers who presented with hypertension, and results also showed a correlation between high blood pressure and hearing loss in occupational noise environments.

Finally, in 2016, a study of coal miners in China found a strong correlation between workers with high blood pressure also presenting with hearing loss. Interestingly, both the 2015 and 2016 studies posited that the noisy environment contributed to the high blood pressure, which was thought to then lead to a higher incidence of hearing loss.

Other links between high blood pressure and hearing loss
Another link between hypertension and hearing loss is prevalence of smoking, which has also been linked to hearing loss in several studies and is a well-known risk factor for high blood pressure. In many cases, the acceleration of age-related hearing loss can be linked to both smoking and high blood pressure in patients.

Hypertension can develop gradually, with no obvious signs or symptoms. Beside potential hearing loss, it can lead to more dangerous health complications such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and more. Hypertension significantly increases risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke, which are also linked to hearing loss; a 2016 study of geriatric populations showed a direct correlation between some types of hearing loss after a cardiac event or stroke occurrence, as well as other sensory side effects.

Prevention of hypertension related hearing loss
Checking your blood pressure can be easily done and if hypertension exists, it can usually be handled by medication, lifestyle changes, and dietary changes. Checking blood pressure over time can indicate whether it is appropriately controlled. Having regular hearing checks can also help you monitor your hearing range and identify any hearing loss early.

Hearing loss and high blood pressure impact millions of people around the world, and these two conditions may have a connection.